The funding boost, announced by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts, represents an increase of more than £50 million on last year.
Technology areas that will benefit from the investment include renewable energy, future cities, advanced materials, satellites, digital technologies and healthcare.
David Willetts said: “The UK has some of the most innovative business in the world. The £440 million budget means that there will be more funding available than ever before for businesses across the country to bid for and help turn their ideas into reality – bridging the so called ‘valley of death’.” Over 60 per cent of funding is going to small and medium sized businesses which, he said, would create opportunities for businesses to grow and generate jobs.
Commenting on the announcement, Lee Hopley, chief economist at the manufacturer’s organisation, EEF, said the decision to award record levels of funding was a positive move that should provide a boost the UK’s long-term competitiveness. “Innovation is a key driver of growth both for individual companies and the economy as a whole, but it is a challenging, risky process,” she added.
“However, record levels of innovation funding can’t just be for this year. The Spending Review has to provide certainty as well as sufficient funding, to ensure these critical programmes are maintained over the long term.”
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.